The Kimberley Dynamiters and Fernie Ghostriders continued to extend their winning streaks over the weekend in the KIJHL, while the Creston Valley Thunder Cats are now on a five-game losing skid.
Kimberley Dynamiters (21-2-0-1)
Kimberley has a four-point lead on the Kelowna Chiefs for the best record in the entire KIJHL, stretching their winning streak to nine games this past weekend with back-to-back victories over the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and the Columbia Valley Rockies. The Dynamiters were in Fruitvale on Friday for their first contest, thumping the Nitehawks 6-1. Brock Palmer (3A) and John Usselman (2G) were the team leaders on Friday as Adam Andersen collected his 10th win of the season and the 50th of his career with the Dynamiters by stopping 21 of 22 shots. Returning to the Kimberley Civic Centre on Saturday, the Dynamiters suited up to take on the Columbia Valley Rockies. Kimberley would face a 3-0 deficit after the first period but would go on to score five unanswered goals in the remaining two periods to steal a 5-3 victory away from Columbia Valley. Dan Garber (2G, 1A) and Jett Saharchuk (2G) scored four of Kimberley’s five goals on the night as Adam Andersen was back between the pipes to earn another victory for the club. The Dynamiters are now making preparations for a three-game road trip as Kimberley will play consecutive games Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Kimberley opens the road trip in 100 Mile House against the Wranglers (13-11-1-0), then battles the Sicamous Eagles (9-15-1-0), before closing the weekend on Saturday in Chase versus the Heat (16-7-0-2).
Fernie Ghostriders (15-6-0-3)
The Fernie Ghostriders continue their pursuit of the Kimberley Dynamiters for the top record in the KIJHL and the top spot in the Eddie Mountain Division, winning their only game of the weekend to extend their winning streak to six games. In their only matchup of the weekend, the Ghostriders hosted the Grand Forks Border Bruins at Fernie Memorial Arena. Fernie would clobber the Border Bruins 6-1 as they outshot the visiting team 52-28. Greg Susinski (3A) led the Ghostriders in the blowout while Seamus Keith, Gavin Lawrie, Dylan Defosse, and Levi Young all had one goal and one assist. Ethan Fitzgerald was strong in net as well, making 27 saves for the sixth win of his rookie KIJHL season. Fernie is now set to split their upcoming weekend at home and on the road as they continue to chase the Dynamiters in the standings, who still remain 10 points ahead. Travelling on Friday, the Ghostriders will faceoff with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in Fruitvale before hosting the Golden Rockets at Fernie Memorial Arena on Saturday at 7:30 pm.
Creston Valley Thunder Cats (11-9-0-4)
Looking to get back on track with a three-game road trip through the Doug Birks Division in the KIJHL’s opposing Okanagan/Shuswap Conference, the Thunder Cats instead continued their descent down the standings. Just five points removed from last place in the Eddie Mountain Division, Creston has now lost five straight games. Since the start of November, Creston has lost nine of their 11 games, allowing the Fernie Ghostriders to jump ahead of them in the standings and give both the Columbia Valley Rockies and the Golden Rockets a chance to be in a playoff spot before the Christmas holidays. As part of their recent losing skid, Creston was shutout 4-0 in Chase on Friday, lost 7-4 to the Revelstoke Grizzlies on Saturday and stumbled 6-3 against the Sicamous Eagles on Sunday. Carson Small (3G, 1A) was the offensive leader for the Thunder Cats in the losses along with Kyle James (2G, 1A). Riley O’Laney and Justin Faiella faced a combined 139 shots through the three games, making 122 saves for a combined 0.877 SV%. The Thunder Cats will look to rebound and get back to their early-season success this coming weekend as they play host to the Castlegar Rebels at 7:30 pm Saturday from Johnny Bucyk Arena.
Columbia Valley Rockies (9-9-0-4)
Columbia Valley spent time in Invermere and Kimberley this past weekend, dropping both of their games to the Border Bruins and Dynamiters to remain fourth in the Eddie Mountain Division to start the month of December. Hosting Grand Forks on Friday at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, the Rockies fell 4-3. Tied 2-2 entering the third, Grand Forks would score back-to-back goals just two minutes apart to take a 4-2 lead as the Rockies weren’t able to mount the comeback, scoring with just over 30 seconds left. Tristan Lambert (1G, 1A) and Khale Skinner (2A) were Columbia Valley’s offensive leaders in the narrow defeat. Facing off with the Kimberley Dynamiters in opposing territory on Saturday, the Rockies came out flying and looking poised to knock off Kimberley. Gavin Fleck, Brennan Nelson, and Khale Skinner would all score for Columbia Valley in the opening period to give the Rockies the early 3-0 lead, but Kimberley would slowly chip away at the scoreboard. Adding two goals in the second to pull within one, Kimberley would add three more goals in the third to lock up a 5-3 victory and hand Columbia Valley their third straight loss. Back home at Invermere’s Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena this weekend, the Rockies will look to snap their three-game slide with battles against two Neil Murdoch Division opponents. Columbia Valley takes on the Castlegar Rebels at 7:30 pm on Friday before Saturday’s matchup with the Nelson Leafs, this time with a 7:00 pm puck drop.
Golden Rockets (10-11-1-0)
The Golden Rockets didn’t have any games this weekend following the failure of their ammonia ice chiller earlier in the week. Without a home venue for the foreseeable future, the Rockets will play their future home games in Cranbrook, either at the Memorial Arena or at Western Financial Place.
More: Golden Rockets Calling Cranbrook Home After Ammonia Issues at Rink (November 29, 2019)
Golden’s originally scheduled matchup with the Osoyoos Coyotes for Friday has since been pushed back to their regular season finale on Saturday, February 22, 2020. The Rockets are just four points removed from a playoff spot in the Eddie Mountain Division as they make their return to game action. Golden will host the Nelson Leafs at 8:15 pm on Friday from Cranbrook’s Memorial Arena, serving as the team’s only matchup this weekend.
Eddie Mountain Division Standings
|Creston Valley Thunder Cats||24||11||9||0||4||26||83||92||-9||L5|
|Columbia Valley Rockies||22||9||9||0||4||22||73||70||3||L3|